Aligarh: A 10-year-old Dalit boy, Abhishek, was beaten for plucking “ber” fruit from the orchard of a man called Dinesh Kumar at Kilora village in Hathras district. The farmer’s sons Jasbir and Ramrooh found the boy enjoying the fruit he had plucked from their father’s orchard while passing through a crossing nearby, and set upon him, thrashing him brutally.

The incident occurred on Thursday evening. The orchard owner’s sons first beat him and then tied him up and hanged him over a well. The 10-year-old pleaded for mercy, and cried so bitterly that he lost consciousness. The orchard owner’s sons, fearing he might be dead, untied him and ran away, leaving him unconscious.

The parents of the boy, both labourers, were away from the area at the time of the incident. He was living with his uncle. On Friday, his kin took Abhishek to the district hospital as the bruises hurt. Police were informed of the assault.

“Both families lived in the same village, and were acquainted. The farmer’s family knew the boy was from a Dalit home. A case has been filed against the orchard owner’s sons. The boy was found in an unconscious state. The orchard owner’s family tried to save themselves by accusing the 10-year-old of theft. They said he also stole money,” said Yunis Siddiqui, circle officer, Junction Kotwali.